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"Have you seen those warriors from Hammerfell? They have curved swords. Curved. Swords."
Random Guards, The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim

Whenever an army of evil creatures like Orcs and such is introduced, be sure that most of the time they will be armed with scimitars, falchions, sabers and other curved weapons. Alternatively, a particular evil character or warrior is armed with such a weapon to underline his bad guy status. Seen more often if the "good guys" or the "good army" wields straight swords.

Probably born from the European view of the Crusades, where the righteous Christians were fighting the scimitar-wielding Arabs and Turks (even though Arabs preferred the spear and straight sword as weapons). Another possible influence could be cutlass-wielding pirates.

In Chinese wuxia novels and movies, straight double edged swords (jian, usually the taiji type which is thinner) are also preferred over large single edged swords (daidao), probably it looks way cooler to beat someone with a bigger sword, and adding to the realism, they don't use designer weapons they make up, but Real Life weapons that are roughly the correct size. Some older novels prefer heroes use pole weapons though.

Of course, this trope has one primary exception, if the hero comes from a place where scimitars and sabers are used as a "default", though in these case it's more like because everyone use them. See also Weapon of Choice and Good Weapon, Evil Weapon. Expect to see it often in Qurac-like settings. Compare and Contrast Katanas Are Just Better, which is the Eastern equivalent to this trope.


Examples of Sinister Scimitar include:


Anime and Manga


Literature


Film


Tabletop Games


Video Games


Web Comics

  • In Order of the Stick we have Zz'dtri who, being a clone of Drizzt, wields two scimitars and the Death Knight assaulting Azure City wields one and also the Beetle-men bandits. Crystal's sword/dagger may count too.
  • In Looking for Group the enemy soldiers attacking Kethenecia in the past are armed with scimitars.


Western Animation

  • In Aladdin the guards chasing the titular hero wield scimitars.
  • Hassan, the huge arab guard who appears in some shorts and wields a massive scimitar.

 "Hassan CHOP!!!"

  • The wicked Jack-In-the-Box in Fantasia2000 wields a scimitar against the Tin Soldier. Ironically, because of the curved blade itself he ends up slipping and falling into a hot stove head-first.


Aversions

Anime and Manga

  • Bleach has Shunsui Kyoraku's Shikai, which takes the form of two large scimitars.
    • Also in the filler episode 287, which has a Arabian Nights Days setting features scimitar-looking Zanpakuto for everyone.
  • Agon from Hunter X Hunter. Though he's more neutral than fully evil/good.
  • In Naruto, Izumo and Kotetsu both used curved blades.
  • One of the other forms of Ten Commandments is MillionSun which is definetively positive.
  • in Inuyasha the Tessaiga blade is fang-shaped, hence looking a bit like a massive scimitar.
  • In Sailor Moon, Sailor Uranus uses the Space Sword, which is a curved sword that looks a lot like a jeweled scimitar. In this case, the fact that she has it is proof of her pure heart, since it's one of the three talismans and came out of her pure heart crystal.


Literature

 Victor: I thought swords had to be straight.

Mrs Cosmopolite: Perhaps they start out straight and get bendy with use. A lot of things do.


Film

  • Thong in Cave Dwellers.
  • Gai Xing from Red Cliff is seen using a dadao in battle, and is one of the good guys. Most of the other characters (both good and bad) use straight swords and pole weapons instead.


Tabletop Games

  • Mielikki, the good-aligned goddess of the woods in the Dungeons&Dragons' Forgotten Realms setting, uses a pair of scimitars. It's also the favoured weapon of her followers.


Video Games

  • Kaleh, Kalenz and Li'Sarr from Battle for Wesnoth, along with the good-aligned elves and orcs.
  • Both Altaïr and Ezio from Assassin's Creed have used curved blades. Also justified in the first game, which is taking place in the Holy Land after all.
  • Sengoku Basara: Some of Keiji Maeda's weapons are scimitaresque, but he's the nicest guy around.
  • One of the first characters you play as in Eternal Darkness is an almost stereotypical Persian warrior, and naturally enough, wields a scimitar, and later a huge Ram Dao.
  • The Prince in the Prince of Persia games tends to favor curved blades.
  • In Runescape, scimitars are a popular weapon type, especially on free-to-play servers.
  • Arcanum has several kinds of scimitars and falchions as free-to-buy weapons (including those which shoot fireballs). Moreover, one of them is a full-blown Infinity+1 Sword and a backup Sword of Plot Advancement.

Notes

  1. Note that even if some scimitars had a double edge they were usually used as sabers for slashing.
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